CFP: Leaky Ontologies - ACLA 2021 Virtual Seminar

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Pedro Lopes de Almeida

“Stuff leaks through such that the real manifests not just as gaps and inconsistencies in reality.” 
                                                                                   Tim Morton, Humankind  

In an increasingly compartmentalized, consolidated time, leaking incidents keep surfacing from the backdrop of our human reality designed for smooth functioning and come to shape our age. From the leakings of early steam boilers (and the “plug Riots”) to mechanic malfunctions out of decay and deindustrialization; from the offshore fuel leaks and their environmental impacts in the oceans to the sewage spills, the toxic and the radioactive leaks; from structural “chronic leakages” to the viral breaches from laboratories and the zoonotic spillovers (e.g. bats-to-humans transmission); from the release of primordial microbiomes from melting permafrost induced by global warming to the leaking of seeds and the distribution of vegetal life; or even from the cinematic imaginary of the leaking threat to the information leaks and its inscription into the horizon of catastrophe (email leaks, police dashcam leaks, image and personal data leaks) — all these leaking incidents have come to shape our age, inviting our critical engagements.

Thinking with and through leaking objects, this seminar seeks to approach the theoretical implications of leakage as it seeps into ecological, sociological, technological, and philosophical discourses. In which ways do literature, cinema, performance, music, media, the visual arts, and other creative languages feature leakage, and what can we learn from them? 

We invite submissions that explore possible engagements with leaky ontologies, which may include (but not limited to):

- controls and runaways, porosity, fluidity, vibrant matter (from Deleuze to New Materialism)
- leaks and the agency of nonhumans, leaking as ecological resistance/reclamation/reparation
- surreptitious rust, erosion, decay, and seepage (Steve Mentz’s seep ecology), often in non-anthropocentrically-scaled time
- perforations and contacts across borders
- intersections between race, indigeneity, and infrastructure studies (pipelines, urban decay, and land management)
- emanation and disruption in holistic thinking, or, holey holism (Tim Morton’s subscendence)
- critique of substance ontology with accident ontology
- critique of logical and technological compartmentalization
- chaos theory, panarchy in systemic transformation (Lance Gunderson and C. S. Holling)
- psychoanalytical revealing
- bodily influx and efflux, dividuality (Jane Bennett), and how feminist, queer, and disability studies invite us to go beyond conventional models of the self

The ACLA annual meeting will take place virtually between April 8-11, 2021.
Please direct questions and/or comments to Pedro Lopes de Almeida ( and Xingyue Zhou (
To submit a proposal, please go to
Submission is open until October 31.